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James Brown
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Soul icon James Brown is one of the most sampled artists in hip-hop. The late Godfather of Soul would’ve turned 82 today (May 3).

Brown started off as a man who was clearly too big for his group. He was a member of the Famous Flames, but his charisma was so big that they eventually became known as James Brown’s band. The singer was a full-blown force by the mid-1960s. In addition to his chart-topping hits (“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You [I Feel Good],” among many others), Brown became known for his tireless work ethic and dynamic live performances.

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